In this episode, we have four experts on coordinating transports! Jessica Mueller is the Co-founder and Transport Coordinator at RACE, a 501 that that coordinates volunteer rescue relay transports in addition to offering monetary assistance for people who need help with vet bills. Kelsey Glander is the Transport Coordinator at Kindred Hearts? where they work to improve the future of all domestic animals through relocation into rescue, foster and/or adoptive homes; to practice and promote foster and adoption programs; to build a national rescue outreach program. Ginger Thull is a freelance Transport coordinator and Monica Marshall is a part of the California Husky Rescue Network Inc. and also helps a handful of other rescues around the United States with transports. To learn more about these rescues you can use these links,
Welcome to the Professionals and Animal Rescue podcast, where goal is to introduce you to amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with Animal rescue. This’ll Podcast is proudly sponsored by Joubert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue relate Transport. Now on with our show today we have an awesome episode. We have four different transport coordinators talking about their experiences and sharing their best practices. Jessica Miller is the co founder and transport coordinator at Race Ah five, a one C three that coordinates volunteer rescue relay transports in addition to offering monetary systems for people who need help with that bills. Kelsey Gland ER is the transport coordinator kindred hearts, where they work to improve the future of all domestic animals through relocation and to rescue foster or adoptive homes to practice and promote foster and adoption programs and to build a national outreach program. Ginger Ethel is a freelance transport coordinator and Monica Marshall is part of the California Husky Rescue Network and also helps a handful of other rescues around the United States with transports Well, Hey, ladies, welcome to the program. So let’s start out with some introductions. So, Jessica, why don’t you introduce yourself? Um, I am a Jessica Miller. I am the Cofina co founder in the C f o uh, transport coordinator for race transport. Great. Thanks, Jess. Ginger, I’m Ginger. So I’m an independent transport coordinator. Great. Kelsey, You want Introduce yourself. Hi, guys. I’m Kelsey. I’m a transport coordinator and executive administrator for Kindred Hearts Transport Connection and save a lab. Great. Well, thank you so much ladies for joining us this morning, and I’m gonna start out with you gender since we’re talking about transport coordinators and what they do for those listeners that really don’t understand what a transport coordinator is, why don’t you give him some background and perspective? What I do is I help shelters or rescues transport animals from point A to point B. Sometimes animals are not adopted out when they’re at shelters, and so those animals are lucky and get to go to rescues, or maybe foster homes or adopted adopted homes. And the shelter needs assistance or the rescue needs assistance. Getting the dog from point A to point B. So I step in and plan the route and the and find drivers. But I used volunteer drivers who helped get the dog or or the animal from point A to point B. Great. That’s a great description. Their gender. So So, Kelsey, one of the things that I wanted to kind of point out is for volunteers, right. How do they get started? So if people are listen to this going Hey, this sounds great. Where did they begin? Yes, So there are so many different ways that somebody can help in transporting lots of people think Oh, my gosh. Like rescue animals. That must mean I have to give a lot of money or I have toe donate all of my time, or I have to foster and, you know, have 10 dogs in my house every weekend. But that’s really not what it means. You can do something as simple as driving leg of transport where you sign up. According Teoh, your schedule you don’t have in every weekend commitment. I’m on everyday commitment. You, you know, say, you know, next Saturday I’ve got four hours free. I’m gonna help Jess on sign up for leg from Corpus Christi to Houston. That’s a longer leg, But you know, some people will take an hour to drive and they’ll pick a short leg. Some people will take two or three legs. Other ways to get involved are you know, Jess, Ginger and I all have people who help us do what we dio. Eso. We have people who assist us and feeling these runs and finding volunteers. We people who monitor the runs while it’s going on to make sure everything’s going smoothly. And so there really is something for everybody, whether you love to drive and one hop in your car and help out. That way, if you want to host, Ah, sleepover for dogs who are or cat who are on their way. Or if you are more comfortable sitting behind a computer and hopping on the phone to call people, there’s definitely lots of ways for different people to help. I personally started. I was at some you know, big event in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a few years ago, specifically for transport, and saw a booth that you put my name on the list in the next weekend. I got a call being Hey, can you drive from, like, sort of Harrisburg. And I hopped in my car and did it, and I was immediately hooked. So it’s pretty simple, easy to get started. Most of the people that you meet have done this before, and so it creates a really cool network of people. You make a lot of really awesome friends. Onda learn a lot of things, acquire some school supplies, and it really is a great way to give back to the animals that need your help. Yeah, that’s a really good description, Kelsey. And and I’m glad you brought up kind of how you got into it, because I think that’s always interesting. Me, Jess, can you share maybe for people how you got into this? Uh, well, I got into this because we started raising money or, um, Miranda Lambert Fund that she has for pets. Charities. We’ve been fans. Some of us have been fans really long time. There’s four of us that are off the others in the group, and we just kind of cheese set up a shelter in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and we kind of started on, like, away longer legs, ale, like there’ll be three or four of us driving you the hours at a time. So it was definitely a different kind of introduction. Teoh Volunteer really rescue, but again, it was definitely getting involved in the driving. And then the ah transport coordination came afterwards. You know, you just gets oh involved in it and you want to help more. So we set up a group to, you know, include more people and do more of rest. You relate type rescue transport that you see today, where an hour, I wanna have a leg and a lot more people. And but yeah, I got into it driving as well. There’s a lot of Facebook group that people can go in and search for a book and try to get involved that way. Do Bert is a great way to get involved. Hopefully, more people start using that in like a Facebook is a great way to get involved. Very cool gender. How about how about your background? How did you get into this? I don’t know. Um I retired from teaching, and I I must have been watching the Internet at different maybe different animal welfare groups on the Internet and I must have been watching those. But when I retired, I remember thinking, Well, I could transport the local dogs from the shelter. Just two rescues and I’d be available during the daytime when most people are working. And so I went to the local. It’s a small town. So are local police are the people who run the shelter. And so I went downtown to the local shelter and told the new animal control person that I’d be willing to transport dogs from Point A to Point B. She didn’t know too much about transporting. She was new to the job, but about a month later she called and asked me to drive off 50 miles to meet another transport. So I do that and thinking transport. And then, as as you get more involved than you, I feel like one of the things I’m able to do is to connect people. That I think is one of my abilities or my gifts is that I can connect percent with a transfer or I could connect the dog with a rescue that the help it’s so being able to connect people, I think, is a one of the ability abilities that is help in transporting and arranging transports. Great. Well, thank you so much for that now. Hey, we actually just added Monica into the call now. So, Monica, welcome. Welcome to the call here. Can you on and introduce yourself, everybody. How? Monica, Where she’ll? I’m from Michigan, Actually. I am with a Husky rescue in California. But I also work with a lot of other Husky rescues in other states on mostly, what we do is try to get California. Husky is east to get him to safety. Occasionally. If we get bad weather or something are missing a leg will do. Ground part. Yeah, Monica, you dio you work with pilots. Correct. Let’s talk for a second. About, um we’re talking about people getting involved and, um, you know what they need to know. So So just what kind of tips do you have for people that air new to this? What do they need to know? To get started? Well, like I said, you could go on, say spoken. Search for some lum rescue transport’s volunteer groups. You can sign up at Joubert dot com. I’m sure that you could probably go Teoh local shelter and see if they have any contacts with people like us or other volunteers? Uh, a ever have needs that come up to do something like this? Yeah, I would agree. I would agree with Jess. Totally. Um, especially heading down, toe a rescue your area. Maybe you happen to be in a petsmart on Saturday. A lot of those rescues that, you know, hold adoption events. Often times have brought their animals up from somewhere else. Your local shelter probably moves dogs out all the time until they’re a really good resource to reach out to and see how you can help, you know, on the weekend with your car. So one of the common questions I know people often ask is so I just need my car. I don’t need any other supplies. What do any craze do? Any leashes? What do I need to bring So that I’m prepared for something like this? Yes. So I made a few educational videos a few years ago. We’re in the process of updating them. But, you know, transport really is you and your car. But you do need a few, you know, supplies to keep the animals safe. And sometimes animals come with everything that they need. I recommend having a slip lead, which is, you know, the kind of lead that your vet uses when you bring your dog in so they’re not using your normal collar. So I recommend having one of those many times your bet Aucas will give you one if you need it. You can also order them from dog dot com. I think they’re like eight bucks. Super simple, really good investment. Tired. Recommend having a few of those having some normal leashes as well to tether the animal in your car. You know that’s making sure that they know if they’re sitting in the backseat. Can’t jump up front with you while you’re driving. I’m a few Open the car door. They’re not gonna jump out and run away on your transfer. Having crates is nice, but it’s not necessary. If you’re trained. According puppy’s most of the time, the puppies will come with their crates. If you want to bring your own, that’s fantastic. But it’s not a must know. Your coordinator when you sign up will be very clear with you about everything that you should bring. Um, if the dogs will have their collars and leashes or if you’re asked to bring one. If what? These will have crates. You need to bring one, that kind of thing. I personally, when I started, I had, like, you know, your basic dogs, flies, collar, leash kind of thing. But I actually got a lot of my supplies from other transporters. It was like, you know, you’d be heading down the road and they’d be like, Hey, your new I’m gonna give you this news. Um, you know, this stuff passed along to the next new person you need by one time, had a local fire department in Lancaster donate all of their old collars and leashes to me. And so if a dog you know happened stand upon transplant, they don’t have what they need. I just send it along with them, just making sure that the animal is safe by having all the proper supplies. And most of the time of the dogs will come with that kind of stuff. I might add that it would be very important for them to have a cell phone. Oh, yeah, through I always I occasionally get people who don’t have them, but it’s really rare nowadays. I I have a couple of drivers that they have a little phone, but they hardly ever use it. And so you have to remind them to bring it with them. Yeah, because you definitely want to keep in touch with your coordinator throughout the trip. And each coordinator has a different style of doing it. Some people use Facebook message. Other people do email. Some people do text message updates. And so having a phone is really crucial. Good point, Monica. Great. So let’s talk about the day of the transports and I’ve gotten signed up. You know, I’ve got my slip lead, my leashes. I’ve got my instructions. Got my cell phone. Right? So what now happens, Monica? On the day of the transform, what do we need to know? Um actually, I double check the night before, and I just make sure everybody’s ago this and that. I always do it the day before. In case, you know, someone forgets us in that they don’t know it’s tomorrow. I thought it was the next day. I just make sure everybody’s ago I keep in touch with everybody along the way. I tell him to text me handoff I make sure you know, once they get the dog, text me. Let me know you got the dog. You know where you’re at? Yes. Your responsibility is a coordinator is a little bit different than your responsibility is a driver. So for me, on day of transport, I am. I’m doing what Monica’s doing. I’m up early. I checking in with people the night before, making sure everyone knows where they’re meeting. Um, you know, making sure I’ve answered everyone’s questions calmed their concerns that they have any My, you know, check in with my center of the dog, make sure they have their health certificate, their paperwork, all that kinds of stuff. But as a driver, what I do is I I’m following along with whatever thread of the transport is happening, whether it’s on Facebook or communicating with the coordinator of you call or text. Just making sure I know our time factor. Sometimes we run early. Sometimes we run late, I clean my and make sure that everything is Ah, no sanitized. Ready to go have my clean blankets, my leashes. Um make sure somebody knows where I’m going. I currently travel with a partner. My boyfriend comes with me on stuff, but I used to do it alone, You know, as Internet safety would have it, you know, let somebody know we’re gonna be besides your transport coordinator. As a coordinator, we always worry. We want to make sure people get where they’re going and get home safe. But you should also be proactive about keeping yourself safe as well. You know, you might be sitting in a Walmart parking lot at 11 p.m. On a Sunday night if something crazy has happened. And so I’m It’s best for people to know where you are, but yet I normally arrive a driver 15 20 minutes early. Make sure I’ve got everything all set up. Um, and then I helped my person who I’m handing off with. Transfer the dogs. We, you know, do a potty break. Make sure they have some water. Look them up, make sure they’re calm, secure, feeling happy, um, and then get on the road and I find that dogs stimulate country music. But maybe that’s just me. I think I kicked out for a minute. I’m back, Monica. So So just I’m sure that every transport runs smoothly, right? There’s never any weather problems for people that are late or anything, right? Tell us that it’s a very yeah. And how do you guys handle that? I mean that. How do you prepare for the unexpected? Well, it’s definitely difficult. It can be really stressful at times. Um, at a driver get lost and nowhere. Texas. In addition to Ginger’s, bring a cellphone. Please always bring your charging cord because she heard herself call with going out and she was law. And luckily, I’m when I drove by and, um, helped her out and that we were able to quickly find someone who could meet her, who did know the area who could drive the rest of her leg. So that was a very stressful moment. I’m weather is always an issue, and it can cause you to you delayed 20 minutes, 30 minutes an hour. You work with the moment you just have to hope that your volunteers are accommodating, and typically the experienced ones are not run into many problems where a driver will just leave because of 10 to 20 minutes late. I find that if you keep your drivers and formed of the time, um whenever each laid leaves. And, you know, they’re not as frustrated when they get there 20 minutes early to find out that the transport pissed somehow for some reason, you know what even is behind, and then they get mad. And Leaf s Oh, yeah, like Chelsea said, we definitely try to keep them up to date on time. Oh, they have a little bit more of a riel expectation of when the drivers that the driver that they’re meeting is gonna be there. We have never had a dog lost on transport, Knock on wood. I know others, and I always have this in my head that it happens sooner or later. I hope it doesn’t. I have not had it happened when I was in fourth meeting, Um, but I that’s something we do outside of my job is coordinator is I run ground Search for dogs has either been lost on transport or who have newly escaped from their foster home. That kind of thing. And it’s extremely ways coordinators always stress for volunteers. Always stubble unleashed, always make sure that they are secured before you open the door of the car transfer. The dogs will need time to make sure that you have volunteers. They’re paying attention handling every day and, you know, try to pick places that aren’t going to eat two per terrifying to a dog. He might be stressed out and, you know, in transition. So, you know, we try to avoid the huge, super huge truck stop. A lot of this is that kind of thing. I try to keep it. Is Comus possible? I’m grabbed them with treats. If you need to get simple like you, whatever work the whole time. This is a really top priority for us. And some of them the old get our very scared. They’re coming from a situation that they were unsure of into a situation for their even more unsure. You just You kind of have to take your time with them. If they are that terrified little puppy that’s just shaking in the back. The car there might come a point where you have to, you know, we’ve been sitting here for half an hour. We need to do something. But you want to take your time with them and let them kind of lead you as to how they’re feeling. Because if they get freaked out, then there could very easily take off. Yeah, And I’m in your point earlier of, uh, you know, people showing up on and following through with their commitment. I you I rarely now the transports becoming much more of a thing. I rarely have issues with drivers who not know we’ve kind of And I’m sure all of you guys have attached to this. We kind of like cornered the market on volunteers. We have some really, really great ones. When something does go wrong, though, they’ll help you out, make sure it gets done. I personally have never had to pull a dog off the road because of some sort of volunteer mishap of, you know, somebody forgetting their leg or somebody dropping out for some other emergency reason. I even had a probably two or three years ago, I had a woman who was headed out to meet transport. She was meeting them right down the street on an ashes, pulling out of the five plays her husband ran over his foot with a lawn mower. Wow! And she called me crying. She’s like, Oh my gosh, like Harry just ran over his foot I go toe to do, Supposed to eat? It’s like I’m gonna go get the puppies, take him to the hospital, dr my leg and come back. And I was like, No, no, no, no, no e Take care of your husband will figure it out. We always dio on, you know, if you need your puppy fix will make sure he gets so. Fortunately, the ladies on either side of that leg were super accommodating. They split the distance and she volunteer with her husband and his bloody foot drove to the meat spot, met the puppy Scots and puppy kisses. And then so that fortunately worked out very nicely. And most of the time it does. It is stressful in the moment when something like that happens. But volunteers are awesome. They always come through. I’m really kind of, you know, they’re the reason this happens. You know, I can coordinate as much as I want, but if people aren’t, call it hearing to drive legs. It’s not gonna happen. I can only drive across Country was your twist. It’s too exhausting. Yeah, volunteers. They’re really good at stepping up in tow into helping. You can usually usually find committee. It’s last minute. If you absolutely need Teoh or the other drivers are usually pretty understanding and are willing to help out And other coordinators if you you know, like crap. Monica, I need you to find a leg here. Do you know anyone in this area? And usually somebody will come through. Yeah, I know. Justice. Help me. A town on that kind of stuff. I don’t normally run near where Ginger coordinates, but I just had some moments where we’ve had to use our teamwork for sure, you know. So it sounds like you ladies spend a lot of your weekend time and probably even evenings doing this. So I’m curious. What motivates you to do this? What? What’s your inspiration for doing this? So let’s let’s start with you, Monica. Why? Why do you do this? Helping the dogs, You know, I mean, a lot of kill shelters out there. A lot of shelter, That air really full. Um, probably Texas and California are the worst cellphones. Too good either, but that’s it. Sometimes I don’t get to get my work done at work. Don’t. Yeah, I really love you know what? Yeah, I’m in trouble a lot at home. You’re on the phone again. Pahlavi at eight o’clock in the morning kind of Saturday. Well, I was just going to say that. I think, Why do we do this? I think it’s because I see that these animals are in need, and it’s not their fault that they’re in the situation they’re in. And if I have some skills or time or abilities that can help them out of that situation there in, I would like to do that. Correct. It’s definitely so rewarding when you know late on a Sunday night or whenever you’re transports arriving toe. See how happy these dogs are in there. You know, New Foster home with their new doctors. With their they grow changed so much on transport. It’s really a great I mean, it can be trying anything, but it really is a good learning experience. It’s so awesome to see them, you know, have their happily ever after, when for less they didn’t always have a chance. Sometimes, you know, transport is the only way that dog is going to get out of get out speculation. You Yeah, and so it’s so cool to be the the mode by which that dog is rescued. You know, there are plenty of rescues willing and able to take, but, you know, distance is a problem, and that’s where we come in. And I often say that, um, I think a transporter has the best job about in all of rescue because they get a take a dog away from a bad situation and and deliver it to either another driver who is excited and happy. And just to see this dog or a cat or other animal. Or we get to deliver the animal to the rescue persons. And I was So it’s a win win. You know, we get a take him away from the bad and deliver them to something happy. And so I think the transport has one of the best jobs and rescue. Yeah, it is this very warranty reporting so rewarding. This is probably, yeah, a drop or it’s only, you know, two or three hours if everything’s going smoothly out of your Saturday. And so you know, we I have some drivers who will drive five or six transports weekend because they’re so addicted. But they’re, you know, not in the position to foster or, you know, volunteer their whole Saturday shelter because they have a crazy life schedule. So it’s really good way for people, toe. You know who need some flexibility to get involved. Ladies, thank you so much. This is great. We really appreciate you sharing your perspective and certainly appreciate what you dio. And thanks so much for coming on the program. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast if you’re not already a member, joined the Air P A. To take advantage of all the resources we have to offer. And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.